Accused sexual predator and murder suspect Nickey Stane back in court

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Nickey Stane's second court appearance lasted all of one minute on Wednesday morning, after a Tulare County judge accepted the public defender's request to push back his preliminary hearing until a later date.

Visalia Police arrested Stane earlier this month on a John Doe arrest warrant from 2009.

RELATED: Accused sexual predator Nickey Stane who terrorized Visalia women 20 years ago appears in court

At that time, police only had a DNA profile of the suspect they believed was responsible for a series of Visalia sexual assaults in the late 90s and early 2000s.

But it wasn't until recently they were led to a suspect - Stane - through new DNA technology called genetic genealogy.

One day after Tulare County authorities announced his arrest, Fresno officials said DNA tied Stane to the 1996 rape and murder of Fresno State student Debbie Dorian.

In the 2009 arrest warrant, a now retired Visalia Police Lt. writes that there was a "case to case hit" between the Visalia DNA profile and a 1996 sexual assault related homicide that occurred in the City of Fresno.

ABC30 Legal Analyst Tony Capozzi believes new DNA technology has made many cold cases solvable.

But he says it's not all that's needed to convict a suspect.

"What this DNA does is provide this person here in Tulare County as a suspect, but the question is-you need more evidence to prove that he committed that crime," Capozzi said.

The Fresno County District Attorney's Office plans to charge Stane with Dorian's death.
But they say Fresno Police haven't submitted the case to them yet.

"If the defendant doesn't waive time here in Tulare County (and) wants to go to trial right way, he could push to have this case decided," Capozzi said. "But that doesn't mean the case in Fresno's gonna go away. If charges are filed up there soon, he may be brought up there and proceed with charges up there."

Stane will be back in Tulare County court on October 30.

He continues to be held without bail.
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